The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDot) released a new report, which states that alcohol related car accidents are down. The PennDot report indicates that in 2012 there were 12,000 DUI crashes in Pennsylvania. This is down from 2002 when there were over 15,000 alcohol related car accidents. In addition, the number of people killed in alcohol related accidents is down to 404 in 2012, compared to 542 people killed in 2002.
The reduced number of accidents is credited to good enforcement, high visibility of law enforcement and public information and education. Most drunk driving accidents occur after dark, and 75 percent of drunk drivers are men. PennDOT reports that more focus needs to be placed on drunk driving by drivers under the age of 21.
All states, including Pennsylvania, have zero tolerance laws that apply to persons under the age of 21, who are operating a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. An underage driver who has a BAC of anything above 0.0 may face penalties.
Someone who is facing a drunk driving charge may face penalties in the form of fines, license revocation, having the vehicle impounded, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device or jail time. The severity of the penalty will depend on a number of factors, including whether the driver has a history of DUI violations, whether there was a child in the vehicle and whether the driver was operating commercial vehicle. Penalties may also be greater if the DUI violation involved a car accident where there was property damage or a car accident where someone was injured or killed.
DUI charges are serious. The key to ensuring they do not affect your life is to build a strong legal defense immediacy.
Source: CBS 21 News, "Deaths in DUI crashes down in Pennsylvania," Kyle Rogers, June 8, 2013.